Monday, October 23, 2006
What the Hell is Going on in Phoenix?
Phoenix is a weird team. I like to think I'm a pretty smart guy, and most teams in the NHL make sense to me. I can see what the management is going for, even if I think what they are going for is absolutely insane. But Phoenix doesn't make any damn sense. I have no idea what Barnett and Gretzky are trying to accomplish most of the time. Lets leave aside Gretzky's coaching strategies for today and just focus on the player acquisition end. There's something seriously schizophrenic about Barnett's trade history. Watching him build that team is like being Homer Simpson trying to decide if frogurt is a good idea.
Briere for Gratton - That's bad.
Gratton and Vaananen for Ballard and Morris - That's Good!
Langkow for Gauthier and Saprykin - That's bad.
Westrum for Michalek - That's Good!
The weird turnover on defense last offseason is playing the role of potassium benzoate. You may not know its bad immediately, but it is. Mara for Boynton looks to make sense. There was lots of offensive talent on the blueline, and Mara was redundant so they traded him for a roughly equivalent defenseman who plays a different style. But then they gave Jovo 6.5 million dollars. If your old offensive defenseman was redudant, why did you spend all your cap space on Jovonoski? Did you feel that your team wasn't taking enough stupid penalties?
Still, you may say that he was an FA, no big deal. Except that spending that money on Jovo means that the Coyotes big offseason forward additions were Roenick and Nolan. Add to this relying on a goalie whose best before date was apparently December 05 and anyone who cared to think about it should have known this team was going down.
Does anyone really think the Coyotes wouldn't be better with Manny Legace in goal, someone like Tjarnqvist as the primary defensive addition and the savings of 5.3 million dollars spent turning Roenick and Nolan into forwards who would have been actually been useful?
They've got young talent there. Ballard and Michalek are legit NHLers and Yandle looks like a steal, but if you're going to suck, suck cheaply.
Honestly, I'm going to be disappointed in anything less than a blowout tonight. Phoenix is exactly the sort of team the Oilers should be able to shred. Hopefully the PP can get rolling tonight, it's starting to concern me. Historically, the Oilers play down to their competition. Beating up on Phoenix would be a small step towards fixing that problem.